7 Branding Principles from Coca-Cola you can apply to YOUR business today!

I am often asked from clients how they can get the best results for their business. How can they market effectively? How can they stand out among their competitors? And how can they do it on a small to medium scale budget?

My answer is generally one thing…. Coca-Cola. Usually the first response I get when I say this is, “I’m not Coca-Cola and I don’t have their marketing budget!” Albeit true in many cases, there are some core principles any business can follow. Let’s dive in.


Maintain product or service quality

First things first. You have to do everything in your power to ensure consistent product or service quality. How you greet customers, the process of delivering a consistent product like food. Maybe you’re a business coach, but the same applies, your service offering needs to be something that can be replicated even if the goals of your clients are different or unique. Think about it this way, if you go to a restaurant and the food is great but you go a second time and the food is sub-par it makes you ponder about whether you’re willing to roll the dice the next time you spend your money.


Tell a story

This method has become easy in the world of social media. Talk about your product or service in a humanizing way. How does this relate to the people or businesses that purchase your product or service? Does it make their life easier? Does it help them in some way? How did you come up with the idea to offer said product or service? These are all the things people want to know. And again, before social media platforms existed it required enormous spending to try and get this message across. So go ahead and tell your story!


Have presence always and everywhere

I get what you’re thinking. How can you have a presence everywhere on a smaller budget? Think of it this way, everywhere means everywhere that matters to maximize your visibility among potential customers. Let’s say you’re a decor store. Your best opportunity would be on instagram. Hire a professional photographer, take inspiring shots to share. Focus on IG Stories, particularly live ones that allow decorating Q and A’s with people. Reach out to all your local home builders and create a monthly email campaign talking about the latest decor trends and how they could implement them into builds. To reiterate, everywhere means everywhere that matters to your business, not just picking platforms or advertising products just to say you are everywhere.


Branding is still advertising

Yes I said it! Not everything you do in marketing or advertising will have an immediate ROI or metric you can follow. If that was the case you’d hire mathematicians not marketers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track and align your marketing dollars to goals. What it means is that branding needs to create brand equity, trust and a relationship. A sense of brand ownership by consumers. This is how you create longevity and memorableness. One branding mechanism I recommend to try is outdoor digital billboards. The price is relatively good and the exposure is fantastic. Plus, there is a lot of creative freedom meaning you don’t have to be stuck with the same message for a long period of time. You could have branding ads change by time of day, day of the week, etc.


Brand an emotion not a just product

This is honestly the number one principle I like to follow in everything that I do. Think of it this way; What does a polar bear have to do with a soft drink? And that right there is the genius. It’s a polar bear family which makes you want to share it with family and by making it animated, it appeals to a younger audience (kids) which is who they are always trying to reach. So I ask you to think, when have you ever seen Coca-Cola advertise a price? NEVER! They just focus on building brand ownership and being where they need to be to make the buying decision easy. This can be applied to any product or service or company. But how do you brainstorm an to market an emotion? Don’t think of how customers buy from you, think about why customers buy the product or service and how it is utilized. Think of diamonds. They are not marketed as a shiny, glittering stone, they are marketed as a symbol of love.


Be passionate

Simple but sometimes overlooked, you must always find a way to be passionate about your product or service. And this passion needs to be visible to consumers. Don’t mistake your passion for what customers want but think about how your passion translates into how it benefits your customers. There are numerous ways to think about passion, but just keep it simple and then drive that home with your employees, partners and consumers.


Be Consistent

Lastly, consistency is another important item that can be overlooked. If we align this with social media content which most people will understand, don’t just make 20 posts one day and then not post for the remainder of the month. Choose what YOU can commit to. Will you commit to 1 piece of content a day? 1 a week? If you’re sending an email blast once a month it better go out every month. You get my drift here I’m sure. Consistency takes planning so start with a plan and then work on your execution. If you don’t have all the tools for execution, this is where hiring someone to fill those gaps will make a significant difference. You may need to hire a videographer, or photographer to fill in your gaps in skills and having a polished and professional look.